Old is having the time to do exactly what you want, exactly when you want. Old is living life in the present and feeling optimistic about the future. Old is giving something back to the people, the community or the world you love. For many of us, old is being happier than ever.
But, as with every life stage, older age can also bring problems and inequalities. In fact, 2 million people aged 65 and over live in poverty, with a million more living just above the poverty line. There are over 1 million chronically lonely older people in the UK. Cuts to older people’s social care currently stand at £160 million. Almost 1 in 8 older people don’t get the support they need.
For more than 150 years we’ve been helping older people to live the best life possible. The challenges change and our work remains vital to millions. By focusing on health and care, ageism, financial security, and social connections, we’re now changing more lives than ever before.
We’ve provided the knowledge, confidence and opportunities to make life-changing decisions and life-enhancing friends. We’ve continued to fight loneliness through our campaigns and friendship services, and demanded free personal care for all older people.
We need a radical rethinking of our attitude. It’s the only way we’ll change society and make sure we’re all supported as we get older. Let’s throw out the outdated and patronising stereotypes. We’re asking the government, the media, the public and businesses to join us in redefining what it means to grow old.
Old is an opportunity for change, fulfilment and growth, not an inevitable period of decline. But to make the most of later life, people must have the right services and support.
We’re asking every single person to join us. Because old age affects all of us.
Households Below Average Income 2016/17, Department for Work and Pensions, March 2019
No One Should Have No One, Age UK, 2016
Age UK, 2018